It’s happened because of the collapse of the ruling coalition in a row over corruption investigations. Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kascynski has led the anti-corruption drive in an attempt to mend a country still recovering from its Communist, elitist past. His conservative, Catholic policies go down well with elder voters.
His opponent is Donald Tusk, leading the pro-business, market-friendly Civic Platform which has held a consistent lead in the opinion polls. His view appeals more to better-off well-educated city dwellers.
It was an election campaign featuring insults and deep-seated differences. But some Poles believe a coalition between Tusk and Kascynski offers Poland the best chance of a stable future.